Hayden During his two terms with the Hayden Town Board, Jim Haskins learned to appreciate the expertise each trustee brought to the table.
Whether he or she knew the ins and outs of sewers and streets, small business or development, he said, the people who sat beside him in board meetings contributed in their own way to the board.
"Everyone had something they were well versed in," he said.
After eight years of his own contributions to the Town Board, Haskins is leaving his post.
He decided not to run for re-election in the April 2 election.
The town recognized his service last Thursday evening with a plaque and thanks for a job well done.
"He has brought a lot of insight to the Town Board," Hayden Town Manager Rob Straebel said.
Straebel applauded Haskins for his commitment to several issues, such as affordable housing and environmental concerns.
Haskins serves as the district wildlife manager for the Division of Wildlife.
He moved more than 30 years ago from upstate New York to Fort Collins, where he attended Colorado State University and met his wife, Dana. The couple moved to Hayden in 1980.
His experience with the DOW gave the Town Board a firsthand perspective of wildlife and wildland issues, Straebel said. But his pleasant nature afforded some light moments as well, he added.
"His sense of humor brought a lot of levity to the Town Board," he said.
Trustees Ken Gibbon and Lorraine Johnson said they learned much from Haskins' leadership on the board.
He showed talent when he took his seat on the board in 1994, Gibbon said.
When Haskins could not give a presentation in Pueblo to pitch the town's need for an Energy Impact Grant, Gibbon went in his place.
Haskins helped him put a speech together, he said.
"I'm sorry to see him go," Gibbon said.
Haskins provided a stabilizing force to the Town Board, Mayor Chuck Grobe said.
His suggestions during board discussion showed he gave some thought to what he said, he said.
During the town's search for a new town manager a few years ago, Haskins served as the interim town manager for a month and a half. It was a task that required ambition and gumption, Grobe said.
"That should tell you something about him, that he would take on that added burden," he said.
Trustees and townspeople alike respect Haskins for his consistency.
His peers knew where he stood on issues, Gibbon said.
"He's always stuck by his guns," he said.
Haskins joined the board in 1994 as a write-in candidate.
Four years later, he ran again to follow through with several projects in town, such as paving of the streets and downtown improvements, he said.
For now, the former mayor pro tempe said, eight years is enough.
He said he intends to stay abreast of issues in town and would consider running for the board in the future.
He said he hopes more people recognize the importance of serving on the Town Board or following the board's actions more closely by attending board meetings.
"People don't show up unless you have a crisis," he said.
Apathy can often run deep in smaller towns, Haskins said, but it doesn't have to be that way in Hayden.